Five Public Relations Secrets to Building Your Medical Practice
03 Aug 2015

As the healthcare industry has evolved, so too have the methods physicians use to attract patients and impact their community. A half-century ago, hanging a shingle and having a solid work ethic was the secret to success. But today, physicians need to know how to position themselves in a population health management marketplace where strategic affiliations, the ability to differentiate and a value-driven (rather than volume-driven) philosophy create customers for life.

While there are many tools in a marketing toolbox, none is better suited for today’s physicians than public relations. That’s because public relations combine high credibility and a relatively low cost. Resources put into public relations are dollars well spent as public relations can help build your brand, raise your visibility, and position you and your practice in a favorable light.

Public relations programs involve strategy and tactics, science and art, and fundamentals and creativity. And just as physicians hone their craft through merging indispensable education with practical experience, so too the best public relations professionals find a way to successfully transition textbook theory into real-world know how. So, how can you leverage public relations for your practice? Here are five important strategies:

1. Tap into local media. Send out press releases on a variety of things, including: new physicians joining your practice, local community involvement, new services offered, or milestones reached. In addition, you could be writing a weekly or monthly health-tips column for your community newspaper and then “repurposing” these columns by posting them to your website or having reprints available in your lobby.

2. Reach out to the community. Find opportunities to speak on your area of expertise at appropriate community or business gatherings. Look for chances to speak at the worksites of local employers or employer-sponsored events and be proactive by inviting the media. That way, you and your message have the potential to reach more people than actually attend your presentation.

3. Be opportunistic. Look for opportunities to cleverly piggyback your messaging and activities with appropriate health observances, such as American Heart Month, or weeks that call attention to diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. The Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development publishes an annual guide listing all of these observances.

4. Be current and relevant. Develop an online marketing strategy that allows you to push messages directly to your patients or other members of the community in a timely and effective manner. Keep your website current and invite two-way communication through social media and allowing your patients (and others) to communicate with you through whichever medium they feel most comfortable. Today it’s all about “the patient experience” and that involves your interactions before, during and after their office visit.

5. Leverage hospital relationships. Let your affiliated hospital know that you are available as a source when the media calls, when they require a physician to quote in their employee or community newsletter, or when they need a physician to represent them at a community function.

It’s easy and simple to hire a public relations manager these days if you do not have time to commit to overseeing it yourself. It is an indispensable part of any business plan, and the physician who is able to leverage public relations is the one with the best practice.  

Learn more online reputation management: http://www.physicianspractice.com/blog/five-public-relations-secrets-building-your-medical-practice

How Serious is the Threat of MERS?
03 Aug 2015

Health officials in the Philippines reported earlier this month that the country’s second case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was diagnosed in a 36-year-old foreign man who had flown in from Dubai. The country has stepped up surveillance and quarantine measures at ports of entry and in the city of Muntinlupa, south of Manila, the country’s capital. Patients at the hospital where the man is being treated were donning face masks and taking precautions to prevent against the spread of the disease.

The man reportedly had a low amount of virus in his body and officials quickly located and began monitoring eight people he had come into contact with. The Philippine government has declined to release any additional information about the man, including his nationality, occupation or the reason for his trip to the Philippines.

The World Health Organization has not recommended any type of travel or trade restrictions related to MERS but has asked anyone entering the country to report to a hospital if they experience signs of a flu such as a fever with cough that are very similar to symptoms of MERS.

The first case of MERS was in February when a nurse who came from Saudi Arabia tested positive for the disease. She recovered and was declared free of the virus within a few weeks. South Korea is still grappling with an outbreak of MERS within its borders, and as of Monday 185 cases have been confirmed. Thirty-three of those patients have died, according to the WHO.

The national authorities of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been informed. Investigations on the possible exposure and contact tracing are ongoing, and enhanced disease surveillance is being implemented. Globally, since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 1,368 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS, including at least 487 related deaths.

It is not always possible to identify patients with MERS early because like other respiratory infections, the early symptoms of MERS are non-specific. Therefore, health-care workers should always apply standard precautions consistently with all patients, regardless of their diagnosis. Droplet precautions should be added to the standard precautions when providing care to patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection; contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for probable or confirmed cases of MERS infection; and airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol generating procedures.

South Korea has recorded about 200 cases of MERS over the past six weeks, including more than 30 deaths. The South Korean outbreak began on May 20 when a 68-year-old man was diagnosed after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia. Since then the virus has spread at a rapid pace, sparking public alarm that prompted the temporary closure of thousands of schools and trip cancellations by more than 120,000 foreign tourists.

Almost all patients were infected in hospitals and the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had found no evidence of transmission of the virus within communities outside hospitals.

Read more about MERS: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/07/06/philippines-confirms-second-mers-case-how-serious-is-the-threat/

For-Profit Weight Loss Clinics: Are They Dangerous for Patients?
03 Aug 2015

John LaRosa, research director at Marketdata Enterprises, has studied the weight loss industry for over 20 years and estimates that medical weight loss programs, which include those run by hospitals and clinics, bring in $1 billion annually and that the market will grow about 5 percent a year through 2019. The prospects are so lucrative that in March 2015, LaRosa sponsored a seminar advising entrepreneurs how to open their own weight loss clinics.

Most insurance providers reimburse patients for at least a small portion of the bill, thanks to a provision in the federal health care law that requires insurers to pay for nutrition and obesity screening, which has created a financial opportunity for these clinics. But the prospect of rapid growth in the diet clinic industry, fed by those insurance payments, has exposed deep philosophical differences on the best ways to help patients lose weight.

Obesity specialists at major medical centers say the proprietors of diet clinics often employ unproven tactics — including vitamin injections, costly supplements, and extreme diet plans — that lure customers but do not lead to lasting results. Diet clinic owners contend they are filling a needed role because the mainstream medical establishment pays little attention to patients’ struggles with weight.

Beyond the federal requirement that insurers cover obesity screening, many states go further, requiring coverage that ranges from basic counseling to weight loss surgery.

Sustained weight loss is notoriously difficult to achieve. Lasting results require long-term care and follow-up, said Michael D. Jensen, the director of the obesity treatment research program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who has studied the effectiveness of weight loss programs.

Few clinics follow patients long enough to demonstrate their programs’ effectiveness, although they point to individual success stories and say they do offer comprehensive behavioral counseling. Some are trying to improve treatment standards by employing doctors with backgrounds in obesity and certified nutritionists, while recommending only evidence-based treatments. And they say they offer real options to patients who have been shunned by mainstream medical providers.

But Dr. John Morton, chief of bariatric surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, said diet clinics should not be the focus of expanded obesity coverage. “Those clinics exist all over the country, and my point about it is we need something better than that,” he said. Even with attentive doctors at the helm, these clinics often employ techniques that are unproven and even some that have been discredited.

Others say tactics like extreme diets and unproven supplements are misleading at best and fraudulent at worst. Michael D. Jensen, Mayo Clinic obesity researcher, studied the effectiveness of weight-loss programs and found that patients who used short-term treatments were not able to keep the weight off.

Many clinics make a profit from selling products to patients, as well as prescription weight-loss drugs like phentermine, which is widely prescribed in diet clinics. And selling medication at a for-profit clinic, whether as part of a package or on its own, still raises red flags for obesity specialists like Jensen. “Clearly, if they’re making money off of it, that’s a conflict of interest,” he said.

Overall, these clinics are becoming more and more popular throughout the United States, but as medical practitioners, we should be wondering how we can step up to help our own patients first before they feel the need to resort to these for-profit clinics.

Learn more about medical weight loss: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/07/04/big-gains-for-doctors-diet-clinics/3HAhx3MpPkcXUMslTPIXeP/story.html

Concierge Medicine Rides the Wave of the Future
03 Aug 2015

Concierge medicine allows doctors to charge a flat monthly fee for services. It’s an idea that finally might be catching on throughout the country. Long thought of as a perk for the rich, concierge medicine has in recent years become more appealing for patients across income brackets. More important, perhaps, is that concierge medicine is becoming more attractive to physicians. 

What Exactly Is Concierge Medicine?

Concierge medicine is a private form of practice where doctors charge patients an out-of-pocket retainer fee for full access to their services. Patient loads typically decrease when a physician switches from more traditional fee-per-service practice to concierge medicine. While there are a small number of physicians practicing concierge medicine today — about 5,000 according to the American Academy of Private Physicians — that number has grown in recent years.

More than 20 percent of physicians today say they’re either currently practicing concierge medicine or plan to do so in the future. Often, younger physicians are those who seem more inclined to make the transition.

Fewer Patients Is a Plus

One of the main upsides to concierge practice is the decrease in patients, coupled with an increase in pay. A concierge doctor may have 500 patients, while a doctor in a traditional practice may have 2,000. The doctor with the 500 patients is on retainer and has predictable revenue. The physician also spends more time with the patient and gets to know them. The doctor with thousands of patients may be hard-pressed to form that same type of relationship and is paid only when a patient comes in.

Average retainers vary from practice to practice, but at one of the largest concierge networks, membership fees range from about $1,650 to $1,800 a year. Insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) costs an average of $307 a month (or about $3,600 a year) for a 50-year-old nonsmoker, according to data analyzed by Avalere Health.

Concierge Appeal Is Spreading

Florida-based MDVIP was founded in 2000 and has grown to a national network of more than 800 physicians. It’s a network where the doctors do everything—from teaching healthy eating courses to grocery shopping with patients. Doctors also go on walks with their patients and work with them extensively on things like hypertension and diabetes wellness plans.

Physicians in traditional practices can have between 2,500 and 4,000 patients. MDVIP physicians are capped at 600. An annual membership in MDVIP ranges from $137 to $150 a month. The MDVIP model offers some of concierge medicine’s positives. The minimum appointment time is 30 minutes, compared to the average seven to eight minutes at a traditional practice. It also guarantees same or next-day appointments.

MDVIP sees results. They have a 90 percent renewal rate and a 90 percent reduction in hospital readmission. Patients at MDVIP often benefit from the access to the doctors, including the fact they can text and email their physicians.

Getting Away from “Sick Care”

One of the reasons concierge patients like the system is because it’s not “sick care.” A concierge doctor typically has more time to work on preventative care than a traditional physician. Networks like MDVIP and others have made a point to reemphasize preventative care and frame it in a positive light for their patients.

Overall, concierge medicine is forcing physicians to adapt the different ways they see and treat patients. It means a decrease in the number of patients one sees, and deepens the doctor-patient relationship.

Learn more about concierge medicine: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/the-future-of-healthcare-could-be-in-concierge-medicine-063015#1

Today’s Fight Over Vaccines is Not Over Yet
03 Aug 2015

Recently, the state of California passed a law that requires almost all California school children to be fully vaccinated in order to attend public or private school, regardless of their parents’ personal or religious beliefs. California now joins only two other states — Mississippi and West Virginia — that permit only medical exemptions as legitimate reasons to sidestep vaccinations.

Many people who opposed the law began to debate “personal liberties,” and “personal freedoms,” as anti-vaccination groups began to scheme about how to take down the law. Debates over public health and personal liberty can seem utterly of the moment in response to new and evolving threats, but a flashback to our nascent nation in the summer of 1776 — when liberty was pretty much the topic of the day — can reveal just how long the debate over government health policies has been running, and how the meaning of “freedom” has changed when it comes to access to preventive medicine.

In Boston, the first Independence Day was preceded by inoculation day, when the Massachusetts general court abolished a ban on inoculating people against small pox. Only people who wanted to be inoculated or had already had the disease were allowed in the city. To leave the city before the inoculation period had ended, people needed the permission of a doctor or judge.

Two years earlier, 20 men in Marblehead brought torches and tar to burn down a new hospital — not because of corporate fascists who were forcing them to get vaccines, but to protest the high-cost system that was shutting the poor out from access to small pox inoculations. Hannah Winthrop, the wife of Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop, described the scene: “Boston has given up its Fears of an invasion & is busily employd in Communicating the Infection. … Men Women & children eagerly crowding to inoculate is I think as modish as running away from the Troops of a barbarous George was the last year.”

But strict laws such as California’s can seem to some like an authoritarian scheme that threatens carefully guarded personal liberties. Even public health experts who unequivocally think that vaccination needs to be more widespread are unsure whether despite good intentions, the new law could backfire and have the unintended consequence of strengthening the anti-vaccination movement. If anything, history teaches us that debates over public health and liberty predate government as we know it and are likely to rage on — although no one expects any hospitals to be burnt down in 2015.

Instead of mandatory vaccinations, U.S. medicine has largely been guided by an idea traced to an influential medical textbook called Domestic Medicine, in which public health policies help reinforce “custom, which was the strongest of all laws. If you didn’t vaccinate, there would be enough pressure on you. Ostracism from the community would be enough.”

At the least, the situation in California might be seen as an experiment — when custom breaks down and outbreaks occur, what is the best solution? Will a strict new law mean more children will be vaccinated and measles declines, or will the anti-vaccine movement gain strength?

Learn more about the vaccine debate: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/07/02/give-me-liberty-or-give-me-vaccines/

 

Fundacion de La Tierra
31 Jul 2015

Dr. Michael Ehrenhaus, MD and his wife Maribel, go to the Dominican Republic three to four times a year to perform eye examinations and advanced eye surgery, including corneal transplants, for no cost to the patients.

Dr. Mike and Maribel usually plan 5-7 days for each charity mission trip, and while there, perform dozens of surgeries and examinations for the local Dominican population. The patients that are examined and undergo surgery are all examined based on their need and also on their inability to pay for healthcare.

The surgeries and examinations are all performed at Clinica Corominas in Santiago with the help of Sebastian Guzman, MD. All of the surgeries and procedures that are performed utilize the latest technology and techniques that are available anywhere in the world.IMG_1083

The charity missions are to help those people that otherwise would have no access to proper eyecare and who otherwise would not enjoy the gift of sight.

Additionally, Dr. Mike and Maribel donate food to dozens of poor families in Santiago and often help distribute the food personally when they are local for a mission trip. Many of these recipients would not have had food for the next day if it was not for these donations. When they are unable to fly to Santiago, Dr. Mike and Ms. Gonzalez will purchase food to be distributed to the poor families and send it via boat from New York or have it purchased locally in the DR to help the local economy as well.

Now, the team of Mike and Maribel (M&M) have joined their forces to create the Fundacion de La Tierra. The purpose of the Fundacion is to strengthen the original goal of helping those less fortunate in the Dominican Republic gain access to eye care and eye surgeries, enable access to better education, and to help provide basic food provisions and household necessities.

Learn more about Fundacion de La Tierra at www.eyecare4ny.com. Contact them at NeustraFundacionDLT@gmail.com or 516-652-0643.

Visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/NeustraFundacion

IMG_7788     IMG_7792      ehrenhaus1

Dr. Neil Ghodadra to help Entrepreneur Jackie Wonder Launch New Drink Line
07 Jul 2015

Jackie Wonder, co-founder of Sharper Edge Sales & Marketing Group™, is introducing a new health products company, Wondermade Brands™, with Dr. Neil Ghodadra, MD. Wondermade Brands™ is making physician created and endorsed supplements, Doc’s Drinks™ and Doc’s Gummies™, and taking them to retailers nationwide. More than 200 stores have launched the products by the end of May.

Dr. Neil Ghodadra, MD, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and who is currently in private practice in Los Angeles, California, is serving as the Chief Medical Officer for Wondermade Brands™. Jackie Wonder is serving as CEO. Wondermade Brands™ has five medical doctors and one pharmacist on its medical advisory board for the creation of the products.

In addition to his sports medicine practice in Los Angeles, Dr. Neil Ghodadra has appeared as a medical correspondent for his medical expertise with sports injuries on the NFL Network. Wonder said of the partnership with Dr. Ghodadra, “I wanted to create a system of simple, convenient, affordable on-the-go supplements focused on helping with specific health issues. We’ve assembled a team of expert medical doctors who are advisors to our brand so we can create great supplements. We are thrilled Dr. Neil Ghodadra is leading the team.”

Dr. Ghodadra grew up in Georgia and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While at Duke, he won several prestigious scholarships recognizing him for his academic achievements. He attended Duke Medical School where he graduated as one of the top students in his class, winning the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor for best thesis presentation.

Following medical school, Dr. Ghodadra completed his residency at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois under the guidance of some of the country’s leading sports medicine surgeons. After residency, Dr. Ghodadra completed the world renowned Sports Medicine Fellowship at Rush Medical Center. While there, his subspecialty training placed emphasis on cartilage restoration and joint preserving surgical techniques of the knee and shoulder, which allow active patients to continue with their athletic careers and recreational activities.

While Dr. Ghodadra was a fellow at Rush University Medical Center, he assisted the team physicians for the Chicago Bulls (NBA) and Chicago White Sox (MLB).  He also served other sports teams, including multiple semi-professional, university and high school teams in football, hockey and gymnastics. His work has been presented at more than 70 conferences throughout the world, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons where he won the award for best Scientific Exhibit for his work in shoulder instability in athletes.

Look for Doc’s Drinks™ products on Amazon.com and in over 200 national retail stores nationwide.

10 Amazing Vacation Destinations You May Not Have Heard About
07 Jul 2015

Summer is here, so if you haven’t already planned your vacation, consider these top ten exotic beach getaways that combine privacy, beauty, and many different types of fun.

Kamalame Cay, The Bahamas

The private island is just a 15-minute flight from Nassau and offers an isolated sanctuary surrounded by crystal-clear water and rustling palms. At the Kamalame Cay Resort, you’ll get as much, or as little, attention as you want from the staff. There, you can discover the beauty of underwater life with a scuba expedition at the island’s PADI rated Dive Centre, which offers all levels of certification for non-divers, snorkelers, and children. Or simply grab a cocktail and stroll across the sandy path to the dock to catch a stunning sunset.

Rosalie Bay, Dominica

Set on the wild Atlantic coast of rugged, mostly undeveloped Dominica, Rosalie Bay offers a tranquil island escape 45 minutes from the capital city of Roseau. Stay at the Rosalie Bay Resort, which features twenty-eight guest rooms and suites with mountain, ocean, river, or garden views amid towering palms and coconut trees. The resort’s Zamaan Restaurant offers fresh ingredients from Rosalie Bay Resort’s garden and authentic Dominican flavors. Enjoy your meal under the moonlight on their outdoor veranda. You can enjoy a trek over moss-covered paths to Boiling Lake, the world’s second-largest volcanically heated body of water.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The exotic city of Playa del Carmen sits just outside of Cancun, with gorgeous beaches on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. A stay at The Banyan Tree Mayakoba resort ensures privacy with your own plunge pool. Spacious villas seamlessly blend outdoors and indoors, with an open-to-the-stars tub. Due to its proximity to Cancun, you can take a day trip to the historic archeological sites outside of the city where you can explore preserved pyramids, ancient temples, and colorful murals.

Peter Island, British Virgin Islands

Located on one of the largest private islands in the Caribbean, Peter Island features a collection of five secluded beaches. Peter Island Resort is the island’s only attraction, but you won’t be shorted on service. Enjoy luxurious villas and suites, a quietly attentive staff, and a spa surrounded by lush gardens. For fun, sign up for the Sunset Loop, an exciting ride up the curvy mountain roads to one of the highest points on the island. For food, indulge in authentic Caribbean food and delectable desserts at the resort’s Tradewinds restaurant, and don’t miss the eatery’s wine room, which features more than 300 exclusive selections.

Curaçao, The Caribbean

This enticing island known for its gorgeous coral reefs is located in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. You can stay at the Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa & Casino, which was actually once a slum. Now, the drastically renovated hotel features 80 rooms, each uniquely different. You’ll get a large dose of Venezuelan culture if you go global at the open-air Old Market, where vendors grill chicken, fish, or even goat for lunch. Seating is communal, so picnic tables are likely to be shared by government employees, cab drivers, and tourists.

Costa Alegre, Mexico

Located just below Puerto Vallarta and just above Cihuatlan, Costa Alegre translates to “Cheerful Coast.” Experts recommend a stay at El Tamarindo, where you won’t have to angle for beach space with only a few dozen guests and two miles of coast. Eat at the El Marino in nearby Manzanillo for fresh seafood and a stunning beach view. When you venture outside of the resort, make sure to arrange for a temazcal, an ancient purifying treatment involving a mud bath and sweat lodge on the beach.

Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands

This small nature preserve in the British Virgin Islands is great for snorkeling and swimming, thanks to crystal-clear water and a shallow reef. Sebastian’s Seaside Villas, located about four miles from the island, offers beachfront accommodations with private balconies or terraces. Stroll the shore and enjoy spectacular sunset views, explore the white-sand beach—home to endangered leather back turtles—and snorkel in the waters around Sandy Spit. Ivan’s Stress Free Bar located on nearby Jost Van Dyke Island is an excellent place to eat seasonal BBQ every Thursday.

West Snake Caye, Port of Honduras

Seventeen miles from the town of Punta Gorda, the four small Snake Cayes lie in the 160-mile Port of Honduras Marine Reserve, which boasts lush mangrove trees and endangered species. Your stay at the The Wyvern Hotel in Punta Gorda ensures that you are equipped with lush bathrobes in every room and tranquil Charlotte Harbor views. For a taste of fresh, local cuisine, try Emery’s in Punta Gorda. The open-air restaurant features a variety of dishes, with everything from stew chicken to whole fried snapper.

Gold Coast, Barbados

The lavish Sandy Lane resort will make you and your family feel right at home with spacious villas, penthouses, and suites. Head to the resort’s casual Bajan Blue restaurant for European, Asian, and Caribbean influenced cuisine in an idyllic beachside atmosphere. You might experience a “star-sighting” on this popular celebrity hot spot off the West coast of Barbados.

Shoal Bay East, Anguilla

Sleepy Anguilla wakes up—a little—at this two-mile expanse of feathery white sand that glitters in the sun. The quiet Shoal Bay Villas offer studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments all equipped with kitchens, only steps away from the water. Be sure to take advantage of the bay’s pure-white beaches, which are rarely crowded, and offer complete relaxation. At Gwen’s Reggae Bar, you can enjoy a tasty lunch, enjoy live reggae on Sundays, and take a nap on an inviting hammock under a grove of palm trees.

Learn more about choosing a beach vacation spot here: http://www.coastalliving.com/travel/top-10/top-10-exotic-beach-destinations

Public Health Lessons Learned from the Ebola Outbreak
07 Jul 2015

Though the Ebola virus devastated west Africa last year, there have been many lessons learned from healthcare’s response that may have profound long-term effects on the overall industry. Mostly, concerns over the spread of the virus largely focused on rapid detection and diagnosis at a collective level, but these concerns also highlighted individual health security, which derives from access to effective, safe healthcare, according to U.K. Health Protection Agency Chairman of the Board David L. Heymann. The Ebola zone’s lack of effective care access and infection control, Heymann writes, has intertwined the two.

The Ebola crisis put the spotlight on the importance of reducing the vulnerability of societies to infectious disease threats that spread across national borders. The collective aspect of health security has been the focus of attention and the commonly understood conceptualization of health security for centuries, but at the same time Ebola-infected west Africans have had to accept that health care is not always safe, not always effective, and not always accessible and that their own health security is yet again at risk.

As the Ebola epidemic has unfolded substandard infection control and inadequate access to effective health products and services have demonstrated a wider scope of health security than the traditionally accepted version of health security.

The outbreak also demonstrated the need to construct robust public health systems to safeguard against such outbreaks, write Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden and coauthors. “We can expect infectious diseases to continue to emerge and re-emerge unpredictably in places where we are not looking–or simply cannot see because of lack of adequate, resilient public health surveillance systems and infrastructure,” they write.

In February 2014 the United States partnered with twenty-eight other nations and numerous health organizations to launch the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). More than thirty-six nations have committed to working toward the GHSA’s 12 technical goals, which include: a national biosecurity system that protects against deadly pathogens, and a medical workforce that includes at least one trained field epidemiologist per 200,000 people.

Lincoln Chen and Keizo Takemi, authors of Ebola: Lessons in Security, write, “the global health community should address future threats to health security comprehensively based on deeper understanding of prevention and remediation of human security. Simply taking the International Health Regulations to a next step would be too weak and too narrow an adjustment.” In our current world, a globalizing world where health interdependence is greater than ever, there is still a window of opportunity to respond more effectively and comprehensively to the wake-up calls, like the Ebola outbreak.

Learn more about what we’ve learned from the Ebola outbreak: http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/public-health-lessons-ebola-outbreak/2015-05-08

 

Use Social Media to Become A Better Doctor
07 Jul 2015

It’s 2015. Social Media surrounds every aspect of our lives and most doctors do not take advantage of it. It is important for doctors to begin to embrace the power of social media and use it help themselves and their patients. Facebook boasts more than a billion users, Twitter more than 120 million, and up to 80% of patients go online for health information. Engaging in the online conversation and using the tools of social media can enhance the good that can be done, for patients, for doctors, and for the profession at large.

There are five distinct benefits to considering using social media. These include:

Anything Goes: Because there are so little current opportunities for health care social media, those who pioneer and blaze the trail for others have the chance to set the stage for those who follow. Doctors can set the rules for themselves in online social media ventures.

Direct Contact: What patients really want to read is what their doctor says, not press releases, articles from barely credible sources, or pseudo-science from advertisers. As a doctor, your patients will listen to you and value your thoughts and opinions over those who are less than suitable.

Therapy Factor: Morale amongst caregivers is low, and sinking lower. Social media offers doctors a chance to reflect about what is still so good about their work. Writing, or Tweeting, or blogging, allows a doctor to consider the patient who actually lost the weight, or the family who sent you a Thank You note for having had the courage to discuss end-of-life care. The social aspect of social media connects doctors with colleagues across the world.

Become a Better Doctor: The pace of change in health care is increasing. In the course of three weeks in late 2013, two paradigms of cardiovascular medicine were upended. Social media covered the story in real time, while print journal coverage came later. Social media delivers an opportunity for discussion to a doctor’s smartphone or tablet, and staying current and informed has never been more important. Twitter allows easy curation of content from trusted sources as it comes available.

Leveling the Playing Field: The blog and Twitter feed of stage IV breast cancer patient Lisa Adams has stirred the mainstream of journalism and medicine. When writers Bill and Emma Keller, of the NY Times and the Guardian, respectively, discussed Ms. Adams poignant posts, and a torrent of criticism and conversation followed. The vastness of the response, from the New Yorker, Wired, NPR, Atlantic, The Nation, the American College of Oncology and many more outlets, removed any doubt that social media has transformed the sphere of influence.

Overall, social media gives regular doctors a voice, a chance to influence and affect change in society at large.

Learn more about social media usage and how you can take advantage of all of its opportunities here: http://medcitynews.com/2014/02/doctors-social-media-time-embrace-change/